Many healers, teachers and parents have them. At one point, I did, too. I had delusions. I thought I was a hero, a rescuer clad in a shiny white coat and wielding the sword of clinical wisdom. I look back on those days with nostalgia and regret. I wish they'd lasted a little longer -- my belief in my own medical grandeur and invincibility. My most memorable patient changed that for me. I remember how ...

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What is HPV? HPV stands for human papillomavirus, and these viruses are the most common sexually transmitted viruses in the United States. Most of the people who are diagnosed with HPV are young and sexually active. The rates of HPV infection are high because most people who have HPV do not know they are infected because sometimes the virus shows no symptoms. Most HPV infections show no symptoms, and resolve within ...

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Widespread news coverage has heightened concerns by many parents about a severe-symptom viral infection causing respiratory illness in children, predominately in the Midwest. Over the last month there has been a dramatic up-spike in children hospitalized with severe cold symptoms and wheezing. The virus isn’t new, but its effect on children seems to be. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed tests on children both in Kansas City and ...

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Back-to-school shopping, new sneakers and first-day outfits, sharpened pencils and fresh notebooks in oversized backpacks by the door: As a parent, these are the images I’ve come to associate with the start of every school year. But with my 20-plus-year history as a developmental pediatrician specializing in autism at Albert Einstein’s Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center, I have an added association with the start of the school year: a particular type of ...

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Recently, the Los Angeles Times reported on California pediatrician Dr. Bob Sears’ role as a favorite among vaccine-fearing parents. What he tells them is absolute nonsense that he has freely admitted he made up in a Reddit interview. Now he’s let a little more honesty shine through. He told the reporter: “I do think the disease danger is low enough where I think you can safely raise an unvaccinated child in today’s society,” ...

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Doing drugs no longer requires a dealer on the street corner. Between the late 1990′s and 2010 sales of narcotic pain medicines quadrupled in the United States. Hydrocodone use increased by 280%, methadone by 1300%, and oxycodone by 900%. As the consumption of these medicines increased, so did ER visits and deaths from overdose -- up by about 500%. A whole lot of these medicines are not going to medical use. And ...

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Doctors talk with their patients about many things that might make some people uncomfortable -- sexual issues, abuse (physical or emotional), anxiety, depression, sleep habits, bowel habits, and fears about health-related topics -- things that many people might not talk about in casual conversation at the coffee shop or at work. Doctors talk with their patients about smoking, weight, eating habits, exercise, seat belt use, helmet use, and a myriad ...

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There were many things I pictured myself doing as I endured four years of medical school: building relationships with my patients and their families, performing complicated procedures, sleeping with my shoes on so I could jump up at any moment when I was on call. One thing I didn’t imagine was that I would be learning about and becoming a part of the labor movement. My experience at UCSF ...

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Appreciate your NICU nurse: A letter from a neonatologist Dear NICU nurse, I couldn't have done what I do without you, and the time to thank you publicly for all the ways you have helped me is more than overdue. Thank you for teaching me how to handle 500 grammers when I was a medical student and had no clue.  This showed me your tolerance and good nature. Thank you for speaking up ...

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These days, we hear a lot about the risks of vaccines. As a pediatrician, I talk to many parents who are very frightened about those risks -- and some choose not to vaccinate because of their fear. Some of the risks we hear about are real, but some of them aren't. I absolutely support the right of every parent to make what they feel is the best decision for their child. The ...

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